The Mechano-microbiology Team

 Ruby Sullan, Principal Investigator


Ruby is a biophysical chemist with research interests in microbial nanoscopy, biofouling, and biomaterials. She received her BSc in Chemistry at the University of the Philippines—Diliman. For her PhD, she joined the Biointerfaces group of Gilbert Walker at the University of Toronto, Canada and spent a year at the Steacie Institute (National Research Council) working on model membranes with Shan Zou. She then joined the Single-molecule Biophysics lab of Tom Perkins (JILA, CU-Boulder, USA). In 2013, she started studying nanoscale properties of bacterial pathogens in the group of Yves Dufrene in Belgium, as a Marcel de Merre fellow. In 2015, she moved to neighbouring Germany, as an Alexander von Humboldt postdoc fellow, at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in the group of Kerstin Blank.

Also check out these articles (Welcome, Bacterial Attraction) by Mandy Koroniak and Patchen Barss for a fuller story...


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Alexa Zayadi

Alexa is a graduate of UofT’s materials chemistry specialist program. Her undergraduate thesis focused on developing superhydrophobic surfaces to reduce bacterial transfer in health facilities. Her research interests center on the role of material properties in affecting the outcome of bacterial cell-surface interactions. In her spare time, she can be found hiking, reading, trying tasty new foods and cuddling with her pet cat and hedgehog.




Daniel Lysak


Daniel is a second year student at UTSC in the biological chemistry specialist program. In his free time he enjoys reading, cycling and working as a study group facilitator. Daniel holds an NSERC-USRA fellowship (Summer 2017).


Muhammad Khan

Muhammad is a 4th year undergraduate student at UTSC majoring in chemistry. He has developed an increasing interest in the development of bacterial resistance as well as the effects of toxins and similar chemicals on the human body.  Consequently, he gained experience working as a toxicologist and currently plan to write a thesis focusing on the initial attachment of bacteria on different substrates before the start of biofilm formation.


Ajitha Kananathalingam

Ajitha is a fourth year student at UTSC pursuing a double major in Biochemistry and Mental Health Studies. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, working with the Environmental and Physical Sciences Students Association and spending time with her family. 


Noula Pitsiniaga

Noula is a recent graduate from the Lyceum of Gytheio, Greece. She is fascinated with all aspects of biology and is excited in pursuing this field. Her interests are painting, drawing, outdoor photography and learning different languages."


Alexis Ty

Alexis is currently a third-year student pursuing a Major in Biochemistry Coop with a minor in Applied Statistics. Outside of class, he loves to volunteer at a pharmacy, tutor high school students in chemistry, and read!  


Sri Nowduri

Sri is a third year student at UTSC pursuing a double major in human biology and biochemistry. He loves swimming and enjoys volunteering at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Hospital teaching children how to swim.  



Brody Chen, 3rd year Chemistry student in UofT St. George, UofT Excellence Award recipient while in the lab.

Eric Lentz, 4th year Biochemistry/Molecular Biology student at UTSC, Nano-Net Award recipient while in the lab.